Check out our best bets for the 2022 NHL division winners.
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The start of the NHL regular season is always a good chance to take stock of the league's betting futures. Oftentimes, this refers to reviewing the Stanley Cup picture. And we'll eventually do that. Right now, though, our latest 2021-22 NHL season picks are going to focus on our best bets for every division winner.
Last season, operating at a different capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL re-ordered their teams into brand new divisions. This year, however, they're following a four-division structure, with eight squads appearing in each region.
To start us off, here's a look at the NHL betting odds for the Metropolitan Division, courtesy of BetOnline:
|New York Islanders||+325|
|New York Rangers||+400|
|New Jersey Devils||+1600|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+8000|
Because NHL futures will shift at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks throughout the season, you will want to confirm these NHL odds before officially deciding on any NHL picks. While you might be find prior to the start of the regular season, NHL future odds are prone to wild swings once the games start to count toward the standings.
2021-22 NHL Division Winner Picks
Some might be wondering how we came to make these NHL predictions before the first face-off of the regular season. It's a fair inquiry.
Basically, we have tried to encompass every single factor possible into our NHL future picks. We looked at last year's performances, changes made over the offseason and even preseason developments. Rest assured, we've put a lot of thought into each prediction.
Now, let's kick things off with the Metropolitan Division.
Metropolitan Division Winner
Plenty of people will give the New York Rangers (+400) and Pittsburgh Penguins a look for this division. But so long as the New York Islanders (+325) are laying better than even money, they need to be the choice.
Neither oddsmakers nor bettors seem to have caught on to them. They deepened one of the league's best defenses over the offseason, and their offense showed it was ready for bigger-time performances on the wings during the playoffs.
Given how young there core remains, this is an easy call.
OSB Prediction: New York Islanders (+325)
Atlantic Division Winner
Check out the latest odds on who will win the Atlantic Division:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+150|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+325|
|Detroit Red Wings||+8000|
Most outlets have the reigning back-to-back champion Tampa Bay Lightning (+150) ranked as the best team in the entire NHL rather than just the Atlantic Division. On some level, that feels like a no-brainer. On others, it isn't as clear.
Tampa Bay lost some real valuable talent offseason and could be looking at a stark drop-off defensively. Then again, they convinced veteran stud Zach Bogosian to sign a three-year discounted deal with them. He replaces some of the talent lost.
Beyond the Lightning, we really only gave consideration to the Toronto Maple Leafs (+325) and Boston Bruins (+325), but neither of them upgraded the roster enough for our tastes.
OSB Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning (+150)
Central Division Winner
Check out the latest odds on who will win the Central Division:
|St. Louis Blues||+1200|
This might be the simplest decision among all divisions. Some people are down on the Colorado Avalanche (-200) following their premature playoff exit and knowing their core is on the older side and suffered some losses.
To this we ask: If not Colorado, then who?
Next up in the odds pecking order is the Minnesota Wild (+700), and they didn't do anything substantial over the offseason aside from retain Kirill Kaprizov, who continues to need better talent around him on offense.
OSB Prediction: Colorado Avalanche (-200)
Pacific Division Winner
Check out the latest odds on who will win the Pacific Division:
|Vegas Golden Knights||-200|
|Los Angeles Kings||+3300|
|San Jose Sharks||+4000|
Defaulting to the Vegas Golden Knights (-200) is perfectly fine here. They had one of the best two-way teams entering the offseason and added Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, to their fold.
Still, we're inclined to keep an eye on the Edmonton Oilers (+500). They have recently been one of the NHL's biggest underachievers, but they continue to employ both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, two perennial MVP candidates.
Plus, Edmonton was able to scoop up Zach Hyman in free agency. The addition of his playmaking both deepens and weaponizes their roster in a way it hasn't enjoyed for nearly a half-decade.
The Oilers are not only a sleeper to win the Pacific Division. They should be on your radar to win the whole darn thing. Seriously.
OSB Prediction: Edmonton Oilers
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NHL betting:
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